I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE to go shopping. I love going into the city with some friends – or just with my mom! Just stroll around a bit, do some people watching, try on new clothes, have a cup of coffee, buy a lot of pretty new things and return home with stuffed shopping bags. I love it!
Bad bargains are everywhere
While I do love a good shopping spree – and some fun times with friends! – they do have a few disadvantages. I have loads of clothes (bought on a whim, or on sale) but nothing to wear. Or I bought something and at home it turned out to be not as handy or as pretty as I thought. Bad bargains are everywhere!
So nowadays my shopping style is a little more thoughtful. And that means I don’t buy bags full of new stuff anymore, but go for a little less. Maybe one bag, or two. Or just absolutely nothing (not counting the coffee). This is what I consider before buying something new:
1. Do I really need it?
The first thing I ask myself is: ‘do I really need this?’. My old self went shopping just for the bargains (also fun!) but now I consider what I really need before I go out the door. Usually, there is something on my wish list I can aim for. A new pair of pants, new shoes, a dead plant that needs replacement, something to test for my blog or a present for someone’s birthday. There are enough excuses to go shopping, but to shop with a mission.
2. Do I really LOVE it?
Often, I buy something because I think it is nice, or because it’s from a popular brand, or because everyone else has it, or just because it’s cheap (yes! sales!). But do I really LOVE it? Am I really, truly happier when I have this thing?
It may seem pretty weird, but I often bought stuff I did not really want to have. So now, I am much more aware of what I stuff into my shopping bags. If I don’t like everything about it, or can’t imagine a spot in my house to put it, or just feel attracted by the brand name or the price – I don’t buy it.
3. Does it make me feel good?
This one mostly goes for clothing. I often buy things on sale because they are cheap – sometimes even without trying them on first! And when I put on my new outfit at home I do think it does not look as great as I thought it would. And so these items end up wadded up in a corner of the wardrobe. Such a waste – and a lot of extra mess!
So, now I only buy things I have tried on first, and still think they look good om me and I feel comfortable on. Saves me a lot of bad bargains!
But you can also ask yourself this for non-clothing items. Especially when you want to be better for the planet, for the animals or you have other goals and purposes you want to do well by, you may ask yourself if this item really contributes to those goals. Didn’t you want to consume a little less? Does this contribute to a fair society? How about this item’s carbon footprint?
4. Am I going to use it?
I’ll admit, this one mostly comes into play with makeup for me. I see sooooo many beautiful things (thank you, Instagram!), but I often don’t even have time for a full face of makeup. To be completely honest, I only do that when I have a party to go to – and I already have more than enough makeup for that. So, fair question to ask yourself: am I really going to use this, or is it only going to sit there and look pretty?
5. Does it complement what I already have?
When you buy new clothes or something for your home, it would be nice to have it complement what’s already there. A funky, bright colour may liven up the place, but it can also be a source of irritation. That piece you end up hating and no one wants to have it because it’s so… well, over the top? So, before pulling out that credit card, ask yourself if it fits in with your other stuff.
Exception to this rule is of course when you are radically changing your entire wardrobe, or you are moving into your own house for the first time and need to buy everything new. That’s your golden opportunity to really create your own style!
So, what do you guys do to avoid bad bargains? Let me know in the comments!